Fentanyl in Other Drugs Leading to an Increase in Fentanyl Overdoses
If you’ve read any articles lately or turned on the news, chances are you’ve heard much discussion about fentanyl and fentanyl overdoses. Fentanyl overdoses becoming more and more of an issue. People are discovering fentanyl in other drugs, much to the surprise of the user, leading to tragic consequences. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the number of fentanyl-related deaths reached 30,000, the sharpest increase of all drug-related overdoses.
What is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is described as a powerful synthetic drug that is 50 to 100 times more potent than heroin or cocaine. Fentanyl and its analogs are part of a class of drugs known as rapid-acting synthetic opioids. They can be used to treat severe pain or to help manage pain after surgery. Opioids create euphoria through the brain which is why fentanyl can become very addictive. Even those who are prescribed the drug for pain management can easily become dependent if they’re not careful.
In no way should fentanyl and any other opioids be used for anything else, but the truth is that people are getting their hands on the drug and adding it to other illegal substances with deadly consequences.
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How Fentanyl is Appearing in Other Drugs
Fentanyl can be manufactured into a white powder that is virtually impossible to distinguish between drugs like cocaine and heroin which is why many users can not even detect it. While heroin comes from the opium poppy plant, making the plant necessary to make the drug, fentanyl can be made in a lab, which may be a major reason why its use is becoming more and more rampant. Fentanyl can be lethal in doses as small as two milligrams.
Because of the way synthesized fentanyl can be made, it is becoming easier for drug cartels to produce and it and is why users are finding fentanyl in other drugs. This is leading to many people overdosing on fentanyl without even realizing they took it. Fentanyl can be diluted and also re-cut, allowing drug dealers to mix it with other drugs like heroin and cocaine. A user will not realize it until it may be too late. These facts are what are contributing to what is now being referred to as an opioid crisis in the United States.
The New York City Health Department notes that someone dies of a drug overdose every seven hours in the city. In 2017, opioids were involved in 80 percent of those deaths. While opioid and fentanyl overdoses have been seen in the past, they have never been seen in this type or quantity. This disturbing trend is what is contributing to the epidemic.
Fighting Fentanyl Overdoses
Fentanyl overdoses and the opioid crisis were recognized by the White House in 2017 as a Public Health Emergency. This directs federal agencies to provide more grant money to fight the epidemic.
Many first responders have also been armed with Narcan (brand name for the drug Naloxone) to help treat those who are experiencing an opioid overdose. The drug works quickly by binding to opioid receptors to reverse the effects of the drug. Typically its effects can be felt within five minutes of administering the drug. While naloxone can be given as an inhalant, it is usually given as an injectable by emergency responders. The goal is to get the patient breathing normally once again.
While naloxone can provide a quick fix and can help save the life of someone overdosing, in order to prevent future fentanyl overdoses and overcome addiction, rehab is needed. Drug addiction is often caused by deep-rooted problems that need to be addressed at their core.
In order for someone to fight their addiction, many times a detox program is first needed so that the patient can begin the rehab process. This is best done under the supervision of a trained medical team. At Desert Cove Recovery, patients are evaluated to see if detox is needed. If so, recommendations are made for detox with one of Desert Cove’s partners.
Other forms of rehab can include a 12-step process that lets each patient go through individual and group therapy to get them on the road to sobriety. Patients learn the skills they need to live a happy and healthy life without the use of drugs. Holistic treatment, outdoor therapy, and extended care are also provided at Desert Cove Recovery. Once you make the decision to get the help you need, the staff will recommend the best treatments for your addiction.
If you’re ready to get started on your journey to sobriety, contact Desert Cove Recovery today and speak to a highly trained member of our staff or fill out an online form. Help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, year-round.